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  • Summary date: Apr 5 2023 - View Summary

    Adds new Article 86A, First Responders Mental Health Care Plan Act, in GS Chapter 58, providing as follows.

    Establishes a first responder mental health care benefits plan, to be administered by the Department of Insurance, as a supplemental insurance policy that provides benefits to eligible first responders with a diagnosis of a mental condition. Defines first responder as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, 911 dispatcher, emergency medical technician employed by a State or local government, detention officer employed by a local government, correctional or probation officer employed by the State, or a volunteer firefighter meeting specified requirements. Defines eligible mental condition as stress, mental injury, or mental illness that is medically diagnosed as an anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive and related disorder, sleep-wake disorder, or trauma and stressor-related disorder as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Sets out definitions for 911 dispatcher, emergency medical technician, firefighter, and law enforcement officer.

    Requires a first responder, in order to be eligible for benefits, to: (1) be currently employed as a first responder, regardless of the date of original diagnosis and (2) be diagnosed by a health care provider, who establishes with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that employment activities as a first responder caused the mental condition due to a singular incident or accumulative effect of employment-related activities. Prohibits receiving benefits if the first responder is receiving benefits related to a mental condition under the NC Worker's Compensation Act.

    Sets out provisions governing a medical cost reimbursement, salary benefit, and a disability benefit, including the amount of the benefit and limits on which benefits can be used together. Sets out additional limitations on the disability benefits including limiting duration of the benefits to 36 consecutive months.

    Effective January 1, 2024.